Have you ever seen one of those weird math equations and thought:
“What the hell does that even mean?!”
Stuff like this looks funky, but what’s happening here is a BEAUTIFUL SIMPLIFICATION of tons of work!
Let’s expand out what goes into this equation:
Now if we plug in numbers for this equation, let's say the gravity between you, a 70kg person on an airplane at 40,000 feet, and the Earth, we get this complex looking stuff:
But if you boil it down to it's simplest elements, the whole thing becomes this beautifully simple equation that looks like:
What you’re seeing is hundreds of equations and measurements boiled down to their absolute simplest format.
This is sometimes known as “computational irreducibility.”
That means you can’t shorten something any further.
This works well in math, but also in language.
Now language is a little more fuzzy than math, so we don’t have to reduce everything down to the simplest form, but when trying to get a simple message across, it’s best to shorten something to it’s easiest to understand form!
For example, here's a really long memo to employees:
While this memo tells people to clean up after themselves, but it's so long that many people will not read it or take the advice.
The “big wall of text” is not an enjoyable or easy thing for people to read, and the break room will continue to be messy.
But what if we reduced it to it's core, like we did the math equation?
We might come up with a much easier to understand memo like this:
You can even alter the language to be more clear and friendly, maybe like:
So remember: Reduce words to a minimum :-)